Reading In Heels Book Subscription Box – unboxing!

SPOILER ALERT!!

Do not read on if you are subscribed to the monthly book subscription box called Reading In Heels! I don’t want to spoil what is in this months box for you!  BUT, if you are looking for a different book subscription box to invest in – and there are a few around! – then I thought I’d share my experience of unboxing this one for the first time!

I have been looking for a new box to subscribe to for a little while as I do love the surprises each month of discovering a new book and new goodies, and when I read about Reading In Heels I thought I’d give them a go! At just £10 each month, plus postage, it gives you a paperback book along with some lovely little extras!! And with their site they have an online bookclub so you can share your reviews and thoughts of the  book each month!  

And today I received my first box and I’m rather chuffed with it all! There’s always the nervousness with book subscription boxes that you already have a copy of the book  – especially when you get through a lot of books! – but I was pleasantly surprised when I opened up the box and saw a book I’d never heard of!

So included this month was this little lot!!

 

The Invisible Life of Euridice Gusmao by Martha Batalha

Euridice is young, beautiful and ambitious, but when her rebellious sister Guida elopes, she sets her own aspirations aside and vows to settle down as a model wife and daughter. And yet as her husband’s professional success grows, so does Euridice’s feeling of restlessness. She embarks on a series of secret projects – from creating recipe books to becoming the most sought-after seamstress in town – but each is doomed to failure. Her tradition-loving husband is not interested in an independent wife. And then one day Guida appears at the door with her young son and a terrible story of hardship and abandonment. The Invisible Life of Euridice Gusmao is a wildly inventive, wickedly funny and keenly observed tale of two sisters who, surrounded by a cast of unforgettable characters, assert their independence and courageously carve a path of their own in 1940s Rio de Janeiro. A deeply human and truly unforgettable novel from one of the most exciting new voices in world literature.

 

 Coffee Bag! I didn’t even know they existed!!

 

   Paxton Chocolate!Looking too good to eat!

 

      INC.REDIBLE Matte Liquid Lipstick

       And a gorgeous bookmark!!

                                                                       📚📚📚📚📚

So what do you think? I’m loving it and glad to be signed up for a few more months so looking forward to sharing more treats in the future that appear through the letterbox!!

                                                      HAPPY READING!!

A Thousand Paper Birds by Tor Udall #PaperbackPublicationDay #BookReview

One of my most favourite books of last year – 2017 – has been reborn today in paperback form!  And just look at that stunning cover!!! I’m sure I can find room to squeeze this edition onto my already overcrowded shelves to join its’ equally gorgeous hardback sibling!

So this is my excuse to share my review again!

THE BLURB

‘A masterful exploration of love, loss and the healing power of the natural world. Heartbreaking and uplifting in equal measure’ Observer

LONGLISTED FOR THE AUTHORS’ CLUB BEST FIRST NOVEL AWARD 2018

After the sudden death of his wife, Audrey, Jonah sits on a bench in Kew Gardens, trying to reassemble the shattered pieces of his life.

Chloe, shaven-headed and abrasive, finds solace in the origami she meticulously folds. But when she meets Jonah, her carefully constructed defences threaten to fall.

Milly, a child quick to laugh, freely roams Kew, finding beauty everywhere she goes. But where is her mother and where does she go when the gardens are closed?

Harry’s purpose is to save plants from extinction. Quiet and enigmatic, he longs for something – or someone – who will root him more firmly to the earth.

Audrey links these strangers together. As the mystery of her death unravels, the characters journey through the seasons to learn that stories, like paper, can be refolded and reformed. Haunted by songs and origami birds, this novel is a love letter to a garden and a hymn to lost things.

Buying Links

Amazon   £7.23

Hive.co.uk – buy online and support a local bookstore  £7.19

Waterstones  £7.99

Reviews

“A masterful exploration of love, loss and the healing power of the natural world. Like Max Porter’s Grief is a Thing With Feathers, it uses fable, mystery and a poetic sensibility to get at the nub of loss … Heartbreaking and uplifting in equal measure” –  Observer

“Kew Gardens proves an abundant and richly suggestive backdrop for this unusual story … Udall weaves a complex story about the mysterious ways a life can linger, like a scent, and how grief and love can sometimes feel so vast and overwhelming that no earthly landscape can contain them” –  Daily Mail

“A rich and intricate debut, at once subtle and powerful, intent and reflective, lyrical and visceral, expertly cultivating an abundance of life from all that remains after death” –  James Hannah, author of ‘The A to Z of You and Me’,

“A moving story as intricate and elegant as the origami birds that Chloe, one of the characters, folds. I loved this whimsical debut novel” –  Red, Summer Reads

Unputdownable fiction … Poetic and finely wrought” –  Sunday Express

“A story of death and its aftermath, which lingers long after the last page” –  Independent

“An extraordinaryenchanting book. Writing as fine and precise as a botanical sketch, gorgeously arty themes, powerful yet fragile imagery and a brilliant story – this is a book to love and treasure” –  Tracy Rees, author of ‘Amy Snow’,

“This novel is all about seeing a ‘scarred loveliness‘ in a damaged world” –  Psychologies

“A poetic exploration of those most difficult of topics, grief and love, against the backdrop of Kew Gardens … Udall deftly leads the reader through the tangled web of relationships binding each of these four people to Audrey, whose own story comes to be revealed through her diaries” –  Scotsman

Magical, memorable and one I will treasure” –  Ali Land, author of ‘Good Me Bad Me’,

“A delicate and beautiful unfolding of grief, loss, love and the way that lives intersect. Insightful and inventive” –  Ann Morgan, author of ‘Beside Myself’,

“Absolutely wonderful. It has the emotional integrity of One Day and the complexity and character depth of Cloud Atlas … An incredible achievement” –  Deborah Install, author of ‘A Robot in the Garden’,

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

After studying theatre and film, Tor co-founded a dance-theatre company and spent most of her twenties directing, writing and performing. She taught drama for several years and choreographed an opera for The Royal College of Music. A Thousand Paper Birds is her first novel. She lives in London with her husband and two young children.

MY REVIEW  


Wow!!  Reading this book has been an unforgettable experience and one that is going to stay with me for quite sometime! Not sure I can do it any justice with a review but I’ll try and put how I’m feeling into words – it won’t be as beautiful as this book that is for sure.  I think I may be a little in love with this book – and I knew it would be ‘for me’ when i first saw the cover!  Absolutely stunning!!


This is the story of Audrey and her sudden, tragic death.  Her death that doesn’t make any sense to Jonah, her husband who she has left behind.  But they shared a love for Kew Gardens and this landmark keeps them close together as Jonah tries to make sense of the world he’s now living in without his wife.  He retraces his steps, his words, his actions but none of this brings her back.  And the author captures this grief in amazing detail and in such beautiful language that your heart just breaks with each description of the void.


As the book is centred around Kew so much it allows other characters who visit the gardens and are connected to Audrey and Jonah to be introduced to the reader, and each character is another piece of the jigsaw that runs throughout the book.  There is Chloe who is an artist, and is haunted by an incident she witnesses at the park,  Harry who is an obsessive Kew gardener and Milly a young girl who is often found at the garden but what is she looking for?  Their paths all cross in one way or another and this is a fascinating aspect of the story.


It cleverly also introduces pages from Audreys’ diary so we get to see her story, much of which Jonah was unaware of and this wonderfully adds depth to the story and lets you see life through the eyes of a lost loved one.  The heartache she was hiding from him and the secrets she kept from him……


 It is quite difficult to review this book too much without spoiling major parts of the book and would highly recommend picking it up to read without knowing too much about the story, as that is how I fell into the book so was unaware of the journey I was about to embark on.


It’s a tale of love, loss, betrayal, hope, grief, lost souls, holding on and letting go  and is definitely a reading experience not to be rushed.  


One of my favourite books of the year so far!! A must read!!

                                                      🐦🐦🐦🐦🐦

Mr Gandy’s Grand Tour by Alan Titchmarsh – Book Review

THE BLURB

Timothy Gandy has kept his lifetime’s ambition secret for forty years.

Now, suddenly (if tragically) released from the hen-pecked tedium of his ordinary existence, he is unexpectedly free to realize his dreams.

He will embark on a Grand Tour of Europe, following in the footsteps of the aristocrats of the eighteenth century.

He anticipates high art, culture and pleasant weather. He never expected to encounter new friendships – and possibly even love – along the way.

It seems that Mr Gandy has embarked on the journey of a lifetime…

Hardback – out now

Paperback – out 4th May 2017

Hive.co.uk – buy a copy online to support your local bookstore 

 £7.25 paperback pre-order

Amazon UK

  £7.99 paperback pre-order

Alan Titchmarsh Website

My Review

They say you find the right book for the right time, and this was definitely one of those experiences! A grey cloudy bank holiday, and feeling under the weather I was looking for an escape read and this delivered rewardingly on that front!

This is the story of Timothy Gandy who has lived a very normal and comfortable life, with his wife and 3 children and never seemed to really expect much out of life. But a sudden sad event gives him the momentum to live out his dream of experiencing a Grand Tour and to travel throughout Europe. And for a quiet, recently retired man it brings about some unexpected revelations!

I love the way Alan Titchmarsh writes as he really allows the reader to connect with the characters and the circumstances they find themselves in. We get glimpses of family life, and it is fascinating to live inside Timothys’ head as he encounters new experiences and how life ends up often surprising you.

His children are all so different and it was fascinating to see how he interacted with all of them, and how his thoughts about them could be so far from the truth – when space and time apart allows them all to be honest with each other.

This was a really enjoyable read and did a wonderful job of brightening up my grey day!!

Thank you to the publishers and BookBridgr for the paperback copy in return for a fair and honest review.